Program 1.7: Grains industry
- foster and enable a productive, profitable, internationally competitive and sustainable grains industry.
We provided advice to the Australian Government, liaising with industry and other stakeholders to support the continued development of the grains industries. We worked to improve market conditions for Australian grains exporters. Our key responsibilities included managing the government’s wheat export reforms, which during 2012–13 included the winding up of Wheat Exports Australia.
Key performance indicators
|Key performance indicator||2012–13 target||Performance|
|Effective policies, programs and regulations that contribute to enhanced productivity, profitability, competitiveness and sustainability||Accurate and timely advice provided a||Met||–||–|
|Engage with domestic and international stakeholders on grains issues||Five meetings a||Met||–||–|
|Actions relating to wheat marketing implemented in accord with the timetable set out in the legislation||100% a||Met||–||–|
|Engage with industry working groups to develop new arrangements for wheat marketing||Two meetings a||Met||–||–|
|All levy funds paid to the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)||100%||Met||Met||Met|
|Timely and effective engagement with GRDC to ensure compliance with relevant legislation and to discuss industry activities||Two meetings a||Met||–||–|
|Scientific and economic research|
|Underpinning research, advice, forecasts, projects, products and data services are delivered on time, within budget and are of high quality||85% a||Met||–||–|
aNew performance indicator.
Delivering wheat export reforms
The Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Act 2012 was passed in November 2012. The legislation abolished the Wheat Export Charge and the Wheat Export Accreditation Scheme. Wheat Exports Australia ceased operations on 31 December 2012. We worked closely with the agency before passage of the legislation and during the wind-up phase.
The access test, under which port terminal operators must have access undertakings in place with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission as a condition for exporting bulk wheat, will continue until at least 1 October 2014. It will be abolished on that date if a mandatory code of conduct for grain export terminals, approved by the minister, is in place.
The committee established by industry to develop the code of conduct has provided a set of principles for the Australian Government’s consideration. These will inform the development of a draft code for public consideration. We participated as an observer at all committee meetings, which were also attended by representatives from major stakeholders.
Supporting industry research and development
The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) partnered the Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food to establish the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre in Perth. The centre will be an independent source of grain quality information, analysis and technical support that will help promote trade of Australian grains.
The department worked with GRDC to develop its 2012–17 research and development plan. The plan demonstrates that GRDC’s programs align with the Rural Research and Development Priorities and the National Research Priorities.
Wheat export reforms
An amendment to the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Act 2012 changed the requirement for removal of the access test. The Act now requires that a mandatory, rather than a voluntary, code of conduct for grain export terminals be in place by 1 October 2014. The change provides an additional challenge in developing the code, as it now requires the making of a regulation under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.
The Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Act 2012 also required the minister to establish a Wheat Industry Advisory Taskforce by 5 February 2013 to examine and make recommendations to government and industry on issues that may affect the efficient operation of the wheat export supply chain. This was done within the legislated deadline, with the minister announcing the taskforce membership on 1 February 2013.
The taskforce met twice in the first half of 2013 and is focusing its early efforts on issues associated with the delivery of stocks information and wheat quality standards. We provided secretariat support to the taskforce.